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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

China, U.S. Discuss Global Health Cooperation In Meeting Between Chinese Vice Premier, U.S. Secretary Of State

Xinhua News: China, U.S. team up for global health progress
“China and the United States vowed to team up for global health progress on Thursday in a bid to beef up health and safety in both countries and the world at large. The consensus was announced in the joint communique of the first China-U.S. Social and People-to-People Dialogue, co-chaired [in Washington, D.C.,] by visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The document said the two countries have achieved fruitful results in health cooperation, addressed major health challenges faced by both sides, and managed to promote health and prosperity…” (9/29).

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Devex Reports Congress Intends To Hold Hearing About Troubled Global Health Supply Chain Project, Contractor

Devex: Exclusive: Congress to question USAID over $9.5 billion health project ‘fiasco’
“A U.S. congress member intends to hold a hearing to raise concerns about the U.S. Agency for International Development’s largest-ever contract — a $9.5 billion program implemented by Chemonics International, which coordinates the procurement and delivery of lifesaving health products in more than 50 countries…” (Igoe, 9/29).

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News Outlets Examine Humanitarian Crises In Bangladesh's Camps For Rohingya Refugees

Al Jazeera: Midwives offer lifeline to pregnant Rohingya
“Trained nurses have come to aid of 24,000 pregnant and lactating Rohingya women staying in Bangladesh’s refugee camps…” (Khalid, 9/25).

New York Times: Pressure Rises at U.N. on Myanmar Over Rohingya Crisis
“Myanmar’s authorities came under intensifying pressure on Thursday over the Rohingya refugee crisis, with the United Nations secretary general calling it a ‘human rights nightmare’ that has driven more than a half-million civilians into Bangladesh in the past month…” (Gladstone/Specia, 9/28).

New York Times: In Grim Camps, Rohingya Suffer on ‘Scale That We Couldn’t Imagine’
“…As international leaders squabble over whether to punish Myanmar for the military’s methodical killing and uprooting of Rohingya civilians, the recent arrivals [to Bangladesh] are living in abjectly desperate conditions…” (Solomon, 9/29).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Life-saving peanut paste for starving Rohingya as emergency spirals
“Aid agencies are feeding life-saving peanut paste to thousands of starving Rohingya children who fled violence in Myanmar, amid warnings of a looming ‘catastrophe’…” (Yi, 9/27).

Wall Street Journal: Myanmar Refugees Tell of Atrocities; ‘A Soldier Cut His Throat’
“…Political analysts and human-rights activists say the Rohingya face a bleak future in the overcrowded camps where there will be little prospect for employment or education…” (Al-Mahmood, 9/29).

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UNAIDS Executive Director Discusses Organization's Future Role In 2nd Part Of Interview With GHN

Global Health NOW: HIV/AIDS: From Despair to Hope, A Q&A with Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director, Part II
“The future of UNAIDS is being a ‘global health advocacy and accountability organization’ that integrates HIV work with reproductive health and other important health issues, says UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé in this second part of his interview with Global Health NOW…” (Simpson, 9/27).

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U.N., Partners Launch Global Initiative Aimed At Ending Rabies Deaths By 2030

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Global initiative aims to end human rabies deaths by 2030
“Human deaths from rabies can be ended by 2030 through the mass immunization of dogs, along with better health care and education, the United Nations said on Thursday at the launch of the world’s largest anti-rabies initiative…” (Whiting, 9/28).

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WHO Urges Governments To Eschew Foundation For A Smoke-Free World Funded By Philip Morris International

Reuters: WHO tells governments to reject Philip Morris-funded smoking foundation
“The World Health Organization told governments on Thursday not to get involved in a foundation funded by tobacco firm Philip Morris International to look at ways of reducing the harm from smoking. The U.N. health body said there was a conflict of interest in a tobacco firm funding such research — drawing a sharp rebuke from the foundation’s head who said his work was independent…” (Miles, 9/28).

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Genetic Modification Methods Show Promise In Making Mosquitoes Resistant To Malaria Parasite, Studies Show

Associated Press: Mosquito gut bacteria may offer clues to malaria control
“Mosquitoes harbor gut bacteria just like people do — and the bugs inside the bugs may hold a key to fighting malaria…” (Neergaard, 9/29).

The Atlantic: Two Ways of Making Malaria-Proof Mosquitoes
“…Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, reasoned that if he could engineer those native bacteria to kill Plasmodium, he could stop mosquitoes from ever transmitting malaria…” (Yong, 9/28).

Washington Post: Genetically modified approaches to fighting malaria succeed in new tests
“…The first study focused on whether mosquitoes that have been genetically modified to be more resistant to the malaria-causing parasite would become weaker and less able to mate and breed. … The second study published Thursday uses genetic modification of bacteria found inside mosquitoes to fight malaria…” (Wan, 9/28).

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Experimental Typhoid Vaccine 87% Effective In Second Stage Clinical Trial, Study Shows

New York Times: They Swallowed Live Typhoid Bacteria — On Purpose
“…The experimental vaccine was a big success. The trial’s results were published in The Lancet on Thursday: the vaccine turned out to be 87 percent effective…” (McNeil, 9/28).

Reuters: Trial data suggest new typhoid shot could halve infection rate
“A new typhoid vaccine developed by privately held Bharat Biotech proved safe and highly immunogenic in a study and could be used to prevent millions of infections if it succeeds in final-stage clinical trials, researchers said on Friday…” (Kelland, 9/28).

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Single Gene Mutation Possibly Made Zika More Dangerous To Fetuses, Study Shows

New York Times: The Zika Virus Grew Deadlier With a Small Mutation, Study Suggests
“…An intriguing study in mice, which has prompted some skepticism among experts, suggests that a single genetic mutation helped transform the Zika virus into a devastating force in Latin America. The report was published on Thursday in the journal Science…” (Belluck/McNeil, 9/28).

NPR: How Zika Became So Dangerous For Babies
“…A single mutation — just one change in the virus’s genes — dramatically increases Zika’s ability to damage fetal neurons and leads to more severe cases of microcephaly in mice, the team reports…” (Doucleff, 9/28).

Reuters: A single genetic glitch may explain how Zika became so dangerous (Steenhuysen, 9/28).

Scientific American: A Single Mutation Helps Modern Zika Cause Birth Defects (9/28).

Wall Street Journal: Genetic Mutation Made Zika Virus More Dangerous, Study Says (McKay, 9/28).

Washington Post: Zika was a mild bug. A new discovery shows how it turned monstrous. (Wan, 9/28).

Wired: One gene mutation may cause Zika’s devastating birth defects (Molteni, 9/28).

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Some Cuban Doctors Working In Brazil Sue Cuban Government To Be Released From Contracts

New York Times: Cuban Doctors Revolt: ‘You Get Tired of Being a Slave’
“In a rare act of collective defiance, scores of Cuban doctors working overseas to make money for their families and their country are suing to break ranks with the Cuban government, demanding to be released from what one judge called a ‘form of slave labor.’ … [T]he lawsuits in Brazil represent an unusual rebellion that takes aim at one of Cuba’s signature efforts. Sending doctors overseas is not only a way for Cuba to earn much-needed income, but it also helps promote the nation’s image as a medical powerhouse that routinely comes to the world’s aid…” (Londoño, 9/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

Gender Equality Critical To Achievement of SDGs

Huffington Post: We Can Build A Better World If We Stop Leaving Half Of It Behind
Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of international development and La Francophonie, and Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer at the World Bank

“The World Bank and the Government of Canada agree that one of the most effective ways to accelerate economic development, reduce poverty and build sustainable societies around the world is to empower women and girls. … Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy asserts that we cannot hope to accomplish the SDGs if women and girls are not included in decisions and do not have equal access to economic opportunities. We still live in a world where in 100 countries, women are restricted from doing the same jobs as men. … As long as this kind of inequality exists, the better world that the SDGs envision will remain an elusive dream. … We need a concerted push from governments, the private sector and multilateral institutions to get the job done. We need strong, innovative partnerships capable of leveraging new financing and knowledge. Every country has a role to play, as does a strong and effective multilateral system. The world can count on Canada and the World Bank to do their part for the world’s women and girls” (9/28)

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U.N. Member States Must Hold Perpetrators Of Attacks On Health Workers Accountable

The Lancet: Accountability is key for protecting health workers
Editorial Board

“…Although there is general agreement that the weaponization of health workers and humanitarian abuses have become an unacceptable new normal, the international response, in particular the course taken by the Security Council, has been wholly inadequate. … The civil war [in Syria], in its seventh year, continues to devastate the people of Syria. Where there has been admonishment, there must now be accountability. Member states must enforce the resolution, local operators and NGOs responsible for accurate reporting on attacks must be supported, and the perpetrators must be punished. Unprecedented as the situation in Syria has been, the unabated attacks on health workers are a profound erosion of international humanitarian law. Without accountability in Syria, there is no accountability anywhere” (9/30).

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Lancet To Launch New Food-Related Projects, Calls For 'Coherent, Multi-Sectoral Policy Actions' To Address Malnutrition

The Lancet: Imagine a world free from hunger and malnutrition
Editorial Board

“…To achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture’, coherent multi-sectoral policy actions must meet diverse, yet specific, targets, such as ending hunger, addressing all forms of malnutrition, including overweight and obesity, wasting and stunting, and addressing the nutritional needs of vulnerable groups such as children, older people, and pregnant and lactating women. … In 2018, The Lancet will launch four food-related initiatives: the EAT-Lancet Commission, the Lancet Obesity Commission, a Series on health and agriculture, and a Series on the double burden of malnutrition. Each of these projects will reinforce a different aspect of the global call for equitable and sustainable provision of food to be a priority: recommending how policymakers approach food systems inclusive of health, cultural respect, agriculture, production, transport, trade, and retailing. … As long as the global food system continues to deliver diets that are not healthy or sustainable, we will continue to see both undernutrition and overnutrition, resulting from an unsustainable food system that wreaks devastating effects on the environment. While global conflicts pose further obstacles to overcome by 2030 and beyond, the shocking figures from last week’s [report, titled The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World: Building Resilience for Peace and Food Security,] must spur words into action, and shift the imagining of a world without hunger and malnutrition towards a reality” (9/30).

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International Community Must Act On Rabies Prevention To Eliminate Rabies Deaths By 2030

Financial Times: The Philippines offers hope of a rabies-free future
Louise Taylor, scientific director of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control

“…[T]he global goal to end human rabies deaths by 2030 is an ambitious deadline for a disease that has been around for millennia, and still kills about 59,000 people a year. … [But w]e now … have hope that rabies can be eliminated in countries where that was long considered impossible. This confidence comes from initiatives such as that in the Philippines, where an intensive dog vaccination, surveillance and education pilot program in Ilocos Norte, a province in the north of the country, managed to eliminate rabies in dogs and humans in just two years. … The international rabies community has come together to say: it is time to apply what we have learnt to make progress at scale. … On World Rabies Day (September 28), communities around the world said we can and must bring deaths from rabies down to zero by 2030” (9/28).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

MFAN Report, Blog Series Aim To 'Deepen The Discussion' On State, USAID Redesign Proposals

Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network: Redesign Reactions: What’s Next for the State Department and USAID?
Jill MacArthur, program and membership coordinator at MFAN, highlights the organization’s recently re-released Guiding Principles for Effective U.S. Assistance, and lists entries in an MFAN blog series “to deepen the discussion on reorganization” and allow “community stakeholders to weigh in on the MFAN Co-Chairs’ Discussion Draft as well as other structure proposals put forth by various experts…” (9/28).

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CFR Analysis Examines U.S. Funding To U.N.

Council on Foreign Relations’ “The Internationalist/International Institutions and Global Governance Program”: U.S. Funding for the United Nations: More Than Anybody Realizes?
Megan Roberts, associate director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at CFR, discusses the nature of U.S. funding to the U.N., writing, “Fortunately, the Council on Foreign Relations has helped to clarify matters with a detailed breakdown of U.S. contributions to the United Nations. … You can find the analysis at Funding the United Nations: What Impact Do U.S. Contributions Have on U.N. Agencies and Programs?” (9/28).

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Friends Of The Global Fight Highlights Findings Of NASEM Report On Global Health Investments

Friends of the Global Fight: NASEM Report: Lifesaving Global Health Investments Also Benefit the U.S.
Sarah Marston, director of communications at Friends, discusses “Global Health and the Future Role of the United States, a 360-page report and interactive website recently released by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).” She writes, “Above all, the report states that foreign assistance for health is a sound investment, serving to save millions of people from preventable deaths, protect the American people from pandemics, spur economic growth in developing countries, and build stronger U.S. trading partners (11 of the top 15 U.S. trading partners are former recipients of foreign aid)…” (9/28).

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WHO Approves Guidelines For Large-Scale Deworming Among Children To Improve Health, Nutrition

World Health Organization: WHO recommends large-scale deworming to improve children’s health and nutrition
“Periodic deworming programs with a single-tablet treatment can drastically reduce the suffering of those infected with parasitic intestinal worms and protect the 1.5 billion people currently estimated to be at risk. … WHO has long promoted large-scale treatment for intestinal worms, but this is the first guideline approved by WHO’s Guidelines Review Committee confirming that deworming improves the health and nutrient uptake of heavily infected children…” (9/29).

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Collection Of Lancet Essays Examines History Of Health In Russia

The Lancet: Health of Russian people after 100 years of turbulent history
Lancet Senior Executive Editor Sabine Kleinert and Editor Richard Horton write, “To mark the centenary of the 1917 Russian October Revolution (Nov 7-8 by the Gregorian calendar, which Russia adopted on Feb 14, 1918), we publish eight essays that examine the current state of health and the health system in light of Russia’s key historical events…” The essays include one by Michel Kazatchkine, U.N. special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and another by Vadim Pokrovsky of Russia’s Central Research Institute of Epidemiology (9/30).

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From the U.S. Government

Veterinary Health Workers, Global Community Must Unite To End Rabies Worldwide

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Optimistic in the Face of Ongoing Tragedy: Progress toward a World Free of Human Rabies
Emily Pieracci, a veterinary epidemiologist at the CDC, discusses several challenges to eliminating human rabies, including insufficient infrastructure and low numbers of veterinary health workers, as well as the lack of data on dog populations. Pieracci writes, “September 28 is World Rabies Day. It’s the day we pause to recognize that rabies is a deadly, yet preventable, disease that needlessly kills one person every nine minutes. It’s the day we celebrate the efforts of the incredible people who are working to eliminate this disease from within their countries not just on World Rabies Day, but every day of the year. It’s the day we acknowledge that we are a global community that must be united in this fight…” (9/28).

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